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"Extreme abuse of power."
In a move that sounds frighteningly similar to what happens when someone speaks out against the powers-that-be in an authoritarian regime -- police and city prosecutors in Renton, Washington are excercising what is being called an "extreme abuse of power."
The town's city prosecutor wants to actually send a cartoonist to jail for mocking the police department in a series of animated online videos.
According to KIRO7, the animations parody officers having sex while on duty and undue staff promotions among other things. And while the city is seeking to criminalize the cartoons, First Amendment rights advocates say the move is an "extreme abuse of power."
KIRO Team 7 investigative reporter Chris Halsne reportedly uncovered a "key" document that reveals the city’s true intent:
The document was quietly filed in King County Superior Court last week. It’s a search warrant accusing an anonymous cartoon creator, going by the name of Mr. Fiddlesticks, of cyberstalking (RCW 9.61.260). The Renton Police Department and the local prosecutor got a judge to sign off as a way to uncover the name of whoever is behind the parodies. Halsne talked with three nationally respected legal experts who believe the use of the cyberstalking statute is likely stomping on the constitution.
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